Phil Haskins lives in East Yorkshire, England. Gold in the South is his first novel, and he hopes that it's not his last. In his free time he likes to do what he supposes other writers do, reading and writing, but struggles to find time for either. He's also keen on keeping fit, nothing too fanatic, just to keep things ticking over.
What is your writing process?
That's a difficult one to say definitively as I've only written the one book currently. But with Gold in the South, I did quite a bit of research, taking notes from each book read (otherwise I'd just forget it all), and then referring back to those notes when I actually wrote the book. The writing process itself is fairly straightforward. I had a reasonable idea of what I wanted to say, and achieve, every time I sat down in front of the computer. The writing is relatively easy once you have those overarching ideas in your mind. I'd write for several hours each day and try and finish whatever section of the book I had in mind. It was always linear, in the sense that I wrote each chapter successively, as it appears in the final book. It has to be said though that that first period of writing is very much the first draft. It went through substantial revisions, both for style and content considerations and particularly for grammatical / editorial conventions. As it was my first book, I did have to go closely into the actual mechanics of what is/is not acceptable in a book. It was quite an education.
How do you approach cover design?
For Gold in the South, I did it myself! It's serviceable I think, though if the book provides sufficient funds I'll approach someone with more visually creative juices than myself. Some people are just able to originate great designs. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them! I'd like to think that people don't 'judge a book by its cover' but, from my own experience, it's pretty clear that they do.
Searching for a new direction in life, Martin Clarke returns home only to find himself becoming embroiled in a succession of events which will see him become obsessed in solving a 400 year old mystery, the fate of the Aztec ghost treasure.